The TWENTY FOURTH Entry was attested at the Administrative Apprentice Training School RAF Hereford on 20 January 1955. Training was undertaken there in the trades of Clerk Secretarial, Pay Accounting and Supply until 2 August 1956.
I have just had an email from Derek Gould, 23rd, saying it is 57 years since going to Halton for his medical prior to signing on at Hereford. I joined with the 24th but the mention of Halton took me straight back to late 1954 when I went there for my medical and indoctrination. Mine must have been in November or early December, 1954.
The billet we were in was brick built, centrally heated and I seem to remember very comfortable. You can understand why we didn’t go to Hereford! Draughty wooden huts and rusty stoves would not have been encouraging. Having been given money by our parents everyone had overdosed on chocolate and candy and
quite a few failed the urine test; somehow I passed. The failures had to not eat anything sweet and were retested the following day. I remember being interviewed by Flt.Lt. Brian (Jingo) Jennings* and asked why I wanted to join; I had read the adverts and knew to answer about being part of a team, travel and learning a trade etc.
I think we stayed there for 2 nights and the second evening we were split into trade groups. I had wanted to go into accounts but was put into secretarial. I think it was a FS Davies (?) who gave us a rundown and told us how lucky we were. The following morning we were interviewed again about how long it had taken to get
from home to Halton. I remembered reading in one of the pamphlets about being eligible for an allowance if you had to travel more than 5 hours. That would have been the first of many times that I altered the facts to suit the situation for RAF travel allowance.
When we were settling in to go to sleep at night, one of the more vocal, know it all types, regaled us with details of his sexual exploits with his girlfriend. I think we all went to sleep a little bit more exhausted than we had been. Funnily enough he didn’t show up at Hereford on 5/1/55. I did. And would I do it again. In a heartbeat. I think we all had some of the best years of the RAF.
Does anyone remember any more details of what happened to us. Where did we eat? We must have had more than a medical and one interview.Ted Huntley August 2011
Obituary To Phil Tobutt – Ken Roost 1st Entry
I was shocked to learn of Phil Tobutt’s death on Sunday 6th April. Phil served in Singapore at the same time as I did(70/71). We met up on Seletar Golf Course both of us looking for a round of golf. Neither of us had a partner so we teamed up and had a round. We were fairly evenly matched and enjoyed the round so agreed to meet up again the following week-end and so we became regular golfing buddies playing most week-ends. The fact that we were both ex-brats never got mentioned.On one occasion we decided to play when a thunderstorm was threatening. We were just about to play our second shots on the first hole when the
heavens opened. With the lightning flashing Phil and I decided a golf course with a bag full of irons was not the place to be. We got soaked. When the storm eased I took Phil back to my married quarter, which was close by, to dry out. Knowing he had served in Aden at the same time as me(58/60) I dug out my Aden
photos for him to look at to see if we had a mutual acquaintance. After looking through them he held up one photograph and said “What are you doing with my girlfriend sitting on your knee?”
Phil and I met up again at the 2000 reunion at Bournemouth and have kept in touch ever since.Our mutual lady friend got a mention every time we met and he did ask for a copy of the picture.I always enjoyed Phil’s company and it does not seem possible that he’s gone.
10th April 2022
Obituary To Alan Howling – Charles (Jimmy) James
I remember Alan Howling well having been our entry Sgt Apprentice. In those days I was a great Surrey County Cricket Club supporter. I lived in Surrey and they had a superb side during the 1950,s containing four or five England players , also winning the County Championship several years in succession. Alan and myself always watched the current Test Matches if we ever had the time in the TV room of the Apprentice NAAFI . For some strange reason being a Cornishman he always supported Yorkshire and would never accept the obvious very high standards of Surrey. We used to tease each other. Sadly we last met at the 24th entry reunion at the UJ club London in 2005 when I believe about ten of us turned up.
An Obituary To Phil Tobutt – Charles (Jimmy) James (24th Entry)
I have today, attended the funeral in Chichester of Philip Tobutt, who recently died in Cyprus where he had lived with his partner Doreen for about ten years. He was a member of the Cyprus branch of the association and my late wife and myself met up with Phil and Doreen whilst on holiday in Cyprus about seven years ago. Phil was a delightful chap and we both served as suppliers in the 24th entry at Credenhill. We parted company in about 1956 and went in our own different directions, I believe he went to Tangmere, and I went to West Malling.I Did not hear from him for another fifty six years, when out of the blue I received a phone call from him. Still not sure how he found me as I had no knowledge of the Apprentice Association at that time. We met up again at the Cheltenham reunion after a very long absence.I was shocked to hear of his passing when Doreen phoned me a couple of weeks ago. They both visited me on recent return visits to the UK and sadly they were both returning to UK permanently this month.The funeral was of course a sad event, but also a celebration of his varied life. I had no idea that he had trained as a relexologist, or that he was an accomplished poet. I knew that he was a very good singer , a kind and generous man, and as his son mentioned during his eulogy, ‘one of the old schhool’ & ‘they dont make them like that anymore’. We shall miss his fun, wit , and many other qualities. I attach one of Phil’s poems:
When in the grey days Twixt Autumn and Winter’s change When the Soft rust-golden days Speed swiftly into Winter’s Hardened hours There, in that solemn cheerless space, you stand And the warmth of your love,
The understanding in your heart Reaches through to touch me And draw me to your side, There to glimpse within your eyes,The gentle jewels of eternal spring.